I knew this girl and was wondering whether someone could confirm or give some more information around whether what this girl was/is doing is normal?
She was around 6-7 when she began to 'self-harm' her breasts - no where else. Sorry in advance if this is explicit - I feel like it's not normal, but I'm wondering whether she was exploring at that age and it just stuck?? One time she had used those pants hanger things to clamp her breasts (ni**le area) and we found out and told her not to do that etc. another time she was sticking led pencils into one of her nipples and pulling them out - which was absolutely mortifying for us! When asked whether it hurt and why, etc. she said no and seemed embarrassed. She doesn't seem disturbed by this - just very secretive and tries to hide it. We caught her, otherwise would never have known. Another time she had literally clamped her breasts to the clothes line and would walk 'like a slave' which is what she said she imagined in her mind.
She's was caught on a chat site with some explicit material at one point when she was around 7, but that was one off and the chat material did not suggest the other person was aware she was young and it was with a stranger - i.e. not groomed.
She has a fear of the dark (even now) and used to have and has nightmares about her brother being taken away and thieves breaking in, she checks all the doors, etc. at night. However, they have never ever been robbed. I thought perhaps she watched a film or something, cause she did one time watch a horror when she wasn't supposed to - it was after a disney cartoon and she was to be asleep. Her parents fight at home - still do and were very conservative and controlling (i.e. do the dishes, study hard - no fun until you finish all your homework + fun=learning stuff); her mother has been violent towards her once or twice. However, that's stopped now. At school she is the odd one out and doesn't have friends, tries to fit in, plus used to be quite rowdy around 7-8 but is very intelligent.
Does this sound like she has been sexually abused? We have asked her, but she says she can't remember anything, she is now 13. She still 'plays with her breasts/self-harms in that manner; it hasn't stopped. She is still secretive and tries to hide it.
Please don't suggest therapy - she is embarrassed and such and it might not help, especially if it is within the lines of normal. I just want to get an idea of whether I am over-reacting about this and it was just her exploring/coping with fighting and over-controlling parents at home. Or whether she was abused and can't recall. I have read about that, but wouldn't there be some sort of feeling? She really can't recall anything.
Please give me some suggestions and advice. Thank you truly!